Friday, 10 October 2014

My new project, Horizon Shift

Some pointless back story
I still vividly remember the first time I came in contact with video games, it was around 1987 or 1988 in the tiny, Smokey, sticky floored arcade room of Butlins in Bognor Regis.

I was given £1 to leave my parents alone, which somehow lasted me about an hour.

The cacophony of 8 bit noise and the intense flashing lights were irresistible to a 7 year old boy.

I wandered around that small room for about 20 minutes before I settle on my first game, 1942 (I had chosen pole position but the steering wheel was buggered).
I didn’t last particularly long, but it was awesome! It wouldn't have mattered what game I was playing, I would have loved it. The clicking sound of the joystick and the feel of mashing buttons with my middle finger had me hooked, admittedly it probably helped that 1942 is amazing.

About a year later I was passed down an Amstrad CPC 464 from my older sister, such a good day!

After spending about a six months of playing any game I could get my hands on I decided I wanted to make my own games.

I think I was 9 when I started coding,  just making little adventure games and countless attempts at football management sims, but what I really wanted to do was replicate that feeling I had when I first played 1942 in that Smokey  room in Bogner.

Well that feeling never really went away and that brings me onto my new project, Horizon Shift.

I’ve made a couple of arcade shooters in the past but I really want this game to feel authentic, like it’s a re-master of an old 80’s arcade game but still have original gameplay and feel new.

Photo: Well this is just friggin' awesome!!!!These are the part for my Horizon Shift arcade cabinet.I'm making a full blown arcade game!
So I figured the best way to keep an authentic feel was to make my own bartop arcade cabinet and using that as my lead platform.
Of course there will be concession for gamepad and keyboard players but the game will really be developed with arcade control in mind.

I’m hoping when the game is complete that I will be able to consider ‘Mini Arcade Cabinet’ as an available format, admittedly it will be about £800 more than the PC version but still there as an option.

About the actual game
As mentioned above Horizon Shift will be a new take on the classic arcade shooter, it’s not a bullet hell or twin stick shooter but more an uppey downey shooty thing.

Basically your ship will patrol a line in the middle of the screen whilst enemies attack from the top and bottom of the screen. You have to switch between shooting up and shooting down to protect your line.

The enemies are divided into 3 groups, the Runners (Red), the destroyers (Blue) and the Shooters (Green).

The runners are the most useful enemies; if they reach your line they will run up and down it and destroy you if you are hit. However the more runners that are on your line the higher your score multiplier. Higher score = extra lives.

Destroyers should be your priority, they will smash up your line on contact, giving you less room to move and more chance to fall into oblivion. There are also rare SOLID Destroyers which will destroy your line with one hit.

The shooter is just that, enemies that shoot…the end.

I’m looking to have about 50 waves in total, plus boss battles and bonus levels.

Similar to my earlier game, Pester, there will be a selection unlockable game modes, such as arcade, survival, time attack, etc…

As for the music I’m very happy to have Jason Heine on board, his thumping upbeat chiptune style really feel right for the game. The OST will be available separately.

I’ve got a good feeling about this game, so far nothing I’ve made before has come together quite as well as Horizon Shift is. So far everything is clicking nicely into place, now I’ve just got to make sure I don’t f**k it up!
I will hopefully be returning shortly to add a gameplay vid more news :)
Thanks for reading!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Super Killer Hornet Resurrection Postmortem

Well it’s been one hell of a ride, that’s for sure!

Super Killer Hornet Resurrection has been out for a few months now and I think it’s safe to say things are starting to settle down.

The release of SKH-R has been the biggest education in game design and the games industry I could have hoped for; sometimes euphoric, sometime crushingly painful.
So what happened?

The development

Originally SKH-R started out as a 48 hour jam project I started with a new artist acquaintance of mine, Dylan Barry. The idea was to test out some of his art and music on a new project, it started to come together nicely so I decided to stick with it and it just grew and grew.

Overall the project took around 9 months to complete, all work on SKHR was part time; game dev has always been a hobby for me.  Development halted a bit when my son decided to come into the world on the 26thof May last year.

About a month before the end of development I decided to put out a load screenshots, trailers and promo stuff and got a really terrific response. A lot of great feedback on the maths idea, I was also fortunate enough to catch the eye of a fantastic indie publisher called KISS.

SKH-R was being developed solely with Xbox live indie in mind, with a view to convert to the OUYA soon after. However fate had other ideas and about 2 weeks before release I found out that SKH-R would be going on Steam! This was good news, very good news.
However, it wasn't something I was prepared for. Steam’s a scary place!
Looking back now, I think I really nailed the Xblig and OUYA release but fluffed it when it came to Steam.

I was playing with the big boys now and I had no idea what I was doing.
The original PC version was a straight conversion of the XBOX version, I didn’t really think about what the PC users really look for - Different resolutions, trading cards, achievements etc…
(Although it’s getting there now after a few updates, with trading cards being added soon)
The price was (and still is) way off! Although this isn't something I have complete control over I think I should have been more firm over the pricing as ultimately the high price point of $9.99 (£7) hurt reviews.

This stuff seams really obvious to me now but when you’re a part time, lone, hobbyist game developer and you've just been told you’re going to be on Steam, it’s hard to get perspective.
In the end though, it did alright.


So how did it do?  Well… Compared to Minecraft, pretty badly but compared to my other Flump projects amazingly well.

I can’t really go into sales too much but I’m happy to say it’s sold more than all my other games combined … and then some!

A lot of people think that being on steam will make you instantly rich, although I can’t confirm sales, I can confirm this has not been the case for me. It has however allowed me to start working part time. This gives me more time to concentrate on Flump and most importantly more time with my son.

So overall I feel blessed and can’t thank KISS enough for helping me achieve one of my biggest dev dreams!


So what did people think of my little math shooter I hear you ask?
Well, overall the response was fantastic, especially on Xbox and OUYA.
The steam version fared a little worse, which is to be expected given the far higher price point.

Currently the steam user reviews sit at 16 thumbs up and 6 thumbs down. Which to be fair is pretty good for a £7 game made on a budget of £60
So here’s a rundown of the good, bad and average.

The Good:
9/10 “Maths can't be more fun. This is a shooter that also uses maths in a clever way and lets use your brains!”XBLA rankings

A- “Here’s to Super Killer Hornet Resurrection for being one of the titles that keeps XBLIG relevant.” – 30 Plus gamer

8.5/10 “Love the idea to combine a traditional Japanese shmup with small mathematical operations.” – Day of the Ouya

8.5 - “The gameplay is fantastic with its different take on multipliers and is definitely a must try for someone who is interested in a shooter with a difference” - ReviewOUYA

32/40 “Flump Studios made an absolute masterpiece with this game” – Press start to begin

8/10 “I have to highly recommend this game to any indie game lover” - XBLA gamer hub

8/10 “I wouldn't hesitate to recommend picking it up if you're a fan of the genre.” – The games den

8/10 “This is definitely a recommended play and for the price cannot be overlooked.” – Retro game geeks

The true manifestation of the rather brilliant idea conceived in the original game” – the xblig

If you are looking for a quality shmup at an affordable price you CANNOT go wrong with Super Killer Hornet Resurrection” – otaku gaming inferno

This significantly improved sequel sports a $2.99 cost and earns every penny of it. Recommended."

Without mincing words, I had a lot of fun with the game and if you ever enjoyed this genre of gaming then I don’t hesitate to recommend it as well.” -

The average:
7.3   “In the background is a game that implements all the concepts you would expect quite competently and mixing some originality that works and these are the elements for a good indie.” (Translated from Portuguese)  -
6.0 – “An above average game but the maths feels out of place and the $9.99 seem too high” – The overshield

The Bad
4/10 “€ 9 on Steam, really excessive in a market like today ruled by independent product sold at ridiculous prices” (translated from Italian) - spaziogames.
3/10 “We've always got time for eccentric craziness, but Super Killer Hornet: Resurrection doesn't have anywhere near the quality to back up its price point.”Deal Respawn

Sometimes it’s hard not to dwell on the negative comments and missteps that have been made, but overall I would call SKH-R a success.

As I said at the beginning of this postmortem, making and releasing SKH-R has been a massive education, lots of things done right but lots of things done very wrong.

It definitely has its rough edges and is inarguably niche, but it’s a game that I will always be proud of and will always be the game that took me to the next level.

I would like to thank all the people below for their help and support during the making and release of Super Killer Hornet Resurrection.
Dylan Barry – Sprite Artist and musician on SKH-R
Paul Norris
Nick Osborne
Khris Golder
Diego Siqueira
Michael Zack
Steve Redmond
Jeremy Peeples from Hardcore gamer magazine
The sixty fours for letting me use their awesome music
Ollie, Steve, Alex and Everyone at the creative arches in Leamington

Extra huge thanks to Darryl Still and James Deputy from KISS
And of course my beautiful wife Liz and wonderful son Jacob
And of course to anyone who has help support Flump by buying one of my games.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

I'm happy to announce the arrival of my new game, Pressured, on the WP8 store!
Here's a the synopsis:
"Pressured is a unique and intense number puzzler.
Hit your targets to unlock pieces of the dark story, all told via the poetry of Nicholas Gordon.
Created by Paul Marrable With music from Matt Mcfarland."

I'm really happy with the way the game has turned out. I had so much fun making it and it's been nice to make something a little different.

It's FREE so why not!!!

There is an expanded windows version on the way, I will keep this page updated with news about it's impending release.

Why you wait for it to download why not check out the trailer? :)

Thursday, 6 February 2014


I can hardly believe it, my little baby's out in the wild! Not literally, literally he's in the bath.
But today is the day that Super Killer Hornet is released on steam!
It's just too exciting!!!
If you're interested in taking a look there will be a 30% discount until the 13th of February.
You can buy it here: <a title="Super Killer Hornet Steam page" href=""></a>
Thanks everyone involved for making this happen.
I  will do a full thank you list but at the moment I'm late for work!!!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

We're on Steam!

So the massive news is that we’re going to be on Steam! The other news is we have a solid release date. Super Killer Hornet Resurrection will be available to purchase from steam on the 6th of February 2014.
Pretty short notice I know, but things seemed to have been moving really fast recently.

I can’t confirm the price yet but there will be a 30% launch discount.

As for the Xbox live indie version we’re hoping for a March release.
No news on any other ports yet but will update this page when there is.

So why not check out these delightful screenshots and trailer while you wait :)

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Super Killer Hornet Resurrection is nearly here!

At last!!!
It seems like ages since we started working on the Sequel to Super Killer Hornet but it’s now finally at a stage we’re really happy with.
Super Killer Hornet Resurrection, like its predecessor, blends classic shooter action with a mathy twist but this time on a far bigger scale.
Gone is the endless nature of the first game, replaced with a classic level structure, multiple  game modes and epic boss battles.
One big standout feature for us is the soundtrack, it’s not exactly traditional for this type of game but we have been lucky enough to be able to work with one of my truly favourite UK rock hiphop bands, the Sixty Fours. Check out their stuff here However if you do favor a more traditional score we also have a classic soundtrack from a very talented musician, Mr Dylan Barry...both are equally awesome!

We are hoping the soundtrack will be available separately and in two parts shortly after release.
We are aiming for an early 2014 release, probably mid to late Jan, we will update with a solid release date when we know more.  

 Right now we are entering the Beta testing phase which will probably last a couple of weeks.
If you are interested in being a tester for SKH-Resurrection email us at

There’s not much more to tell you that the trailer won’t explain. So here it is…look at it!!!!!Please.
For more information please like our facebook page or follow us on twitter@FlumpStudios

Friday, 28 June 2013

Well, Pester is finally available for PC!
It's had a few tweaks here and there and is now compatible with Keyboard or a 360 controller
For those of you who missed the XBOX indie version, Pester is a bullet hell shoot 'em up with an old school feel, tough but addictive gameplay and a hell of a lot of game modes. Here's the official blurb
“Prepare to be Pestered, in a good way!" Pester is a vertical shoot em' up which blends the old school with the new creating a frantic and fun shooter experience. With over 100 combinations of play, a thumping techno soundtrack, 6 trophies to unlock and a unique old school-new school graphic style Pester is a game for both shooter enthusiasts and anyone up for a good challenge."